Archive for the 'wine random' Category

Oxford dictionary admits “wine o’clock”

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.01.08 AM

The Oxford English Dictionary has entered the term “wine o’clock.”

Wow, the next thing you know they’ll enter “cougar juice.”

RIP SkyMall, purveyor of random wine stuff

Forget the ECB–the big business news of the day is that the parent company of SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy! Yes, the catalogue found “in the seat back in front of you” that peddled bizarre but somehow captivating objects is on a ground stop that may really be interminable. SkyMall loved pets–everything you never thought you needed for Fido and Whiskers. But they equally loved wine! So here, we immortalize for the ages some of that random wine stuff! Long live SkyMall wine in all its awesomeness!

Pets (animals) + wine! Amazed the pages didn’t spontaneously combust since this is such SkyMall hotness! Read more…

Canadian fisticuffs! Sipped & spit

Oh, Canada!

Check out this 5-minute radio segment from CBC wherein to Canadian wine personalities start sparring verbally–and then literally–in the studio. And there’s no hockey involved.

Good stuff. Very Monty Python-esque. You will be LOLing.

In other wine news:

AU REVOIR and BONJOUR: Jacques Puffeney, a viticultural leader in the Jura, has sold his vineyards (10.5 acres) to Guillaume D’Angerville of Burgundy. [wine-searcher]

MOSCATO FOR ALL: Russia threatens to ban French wine imports in retaliation for Western sanctions. [Decanter]

BIG BOTTLES: Two magnums of Chateau Petrus 1961 fetched $79,625–about $800 an ounce–at Sotheby’s NYC this past weekend. [Bloomberg]

PRO TIP: Brut NV on a label does not mean the wine is from Nevada.

Palcohol, a powdered alcohol, surrenders labels

Yesterday, the approval of a powdered alcohol called “Palcohol” got a lot of media attention. You could add it to food. You could smuggle it into stadiums. You could snort it.

However, the story got a little ahead of itself.

An attorney at bevlaw posted the original item noting that the TTB, a division of the Treasury that approves all things alcohol at the federal level, had approved seven labels for Palcohol. The labels included “Powderita” and “Cosmopolitan” with the words “Just add water for an instant cocktail.”

When I checked the TTB site for label approvals yesterday afternoon, the labels were all listed as approved as of April 8 (good thing it wasn’t April 1 since it reads like an April Fool’s prank) yet were currently “surrendered.” I wrote Mark Phillips the developer of Palcohol and he told me via email that the “seven labels have been surrendered due to an issue with the fill level.” He added that he did receive a separate approval for the “formula” so, he says, “powdered alcohol is still approved…We’re still moving forward and will submit new labels.” The alcohol powder is derived from vodka and rum.

Mark Phillips is the author of “Swallow This: A Progressive Approach to Wine.” His web site claims that his television show “Enjoying Wine with Mark Phillips” is “one of the most-watched wine shows ever.” Episodes include microwaving and freezing wines.

Tom Hogue, a spokesman for the TTB, responded to a query from the Associated Press that the Palcohol labels were approved in error. Palcohol’s web site posts that gave up the labels through a “mutual agreement.”

It is unclear what led the Palcohol applicant to surrender the labels nor what made the TTB do a 180. But one thing is for sure: powdered alcohol donuts are still a ways off.

Early tip-off means no popping corks for Popovich


Gregg Popovich joked his pre-game press conference yesterday that the early start had put a dent in his wine consumption the night before.

You probably know that Popovich is one of the winningest coaches in NBA history who fosters team play that is unparalleled in today’s NBA. But you may not know that he went to the Air Force Academy and was stationed in California where he got into wine. He has a 3,000-bottle cellar and is a partner in A to Z Wineworks and Rex Hill in Oregon.

The Spurs won their early start yesterday. Given that they had the best record in the deep Western Conference, Popovich may well be the coach popping bottles after the Finals are over (they don’t call him “Pop” for nothing). Unless Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls can take it all!

“Popovich loves his wine”
“Pop art” []

Spot the spoof

Some wine news these days seems beyond parody because the headlines read as if they were ripped from The Onion. In honor of April Fool’s Day, here’s a smattering of recent wine stories–see if you can spot the wine spoof in our bluff the reader challenge.

A. The Wine Advocate is set to release new “luxury lifestyle” magazine entitled “100 Points by Robert Parker.”

B. James Suckling has a crystal wine glass marketed as “100 points.”

C. A “Miracle Machine” was touted, which would turn water into wine in three days.

D. The French Senate debated a motion to declare wine part of the national heritage.

E. An organic grape farmer in France may be jailed and fined for not using pesticides.

F. Hail has ruined the vintage at Hong Kong’s only vineyard.

G. The SF Chronicle ran a piece about the “eco-friendly” next generation of vintners who love deer hunting and Porsche racing.

H. There really is a line of wines branded as Wine for Dummies.

Miracle Machine: a 500-million view hoax

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Such is the case with the so-called “Miracle Machine,” a $499 countertop appliance that claimed to make water into wine in three days. The story had legs and ran away faster than Usain Bolt since it was picked up by a huge number of media outlets: According to one account, 600 publications wrote about the machine and the articles were read 500 million times. Philip James was the public face of the project; previously, he headed Snooth and then Lot18, where he raised over $40 million from investors before closing various product lines, having staff reductions, and, ultimately, stepping down.

Now, James has admitted the project is a hoax. In a video on, he Read more…

Yes, I saw the shoe video

So the latest “uncorking a wine bottle with a shoe” video is making the rounds on Facebook. I know because tons of people who aren’t that into wine has sent it to me. Apparently, I’m not alone as it topped 100,000 views in just a couple of days. Now in its sixth day on Youtube, it has 850,000 views. And media outlets such has the Telegraph, Daily Mirror, and are still writing about it.

In brief, Chateau Mirabeau in Provence put together a nicely done, 50-second clip (above) showing how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe in lieu of a corkscrew. Intrigued about this method a few years ago, I tried it myself–and found it to be a Croc. Nonetheless, I compiled the ne plus ultra posting about “opening wine with a shoe” videos. Consider it something to send back to your friends who have shown an interest in the subject. 😉

Someone asked if this method will aerate the wine. I’m not sure about that. But it will doubtlessly give the wine a lot of sole.


Wine Maps

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

See my op-eds in the NYT
"Drink Outside the Box"
"Red, White, and Green"


Monthly Archives


Blog posts via email



Wine industry jobs


One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.”

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...


Wine books on Amazon: